Is your food serving team interacting with your residents?

Serving food has always been so much more than bringing food to the table. Every person who loves being in the kitchen or has restaurant life in their blood system knows that “Bad service can ruin a good meal yet good service can save a bad one.” Even your finest chefs will tell you that. When it comes to senior retirement communities and nursing homes it is even more critical.

Surveys have proven over and over again that social engagement and building relationships for a quality living are paramount to seniors in nursing homes and retirement communities. The social engagements and relationships must be continued even if the residents are restricted to their rooms. Food servers who engage with the seniors they serve are found to be happier individuals themselves. It is their devotion to the idea of mealtimes being a social event that reflects back to them when seeing a resident enjoy having the food server enter their room. Address them by name, make a casual comment to engage a conversation, and pass on information gathered on the events of the day in the community.

When families cannot visit, the cheer they would bring is left up to the food server to convey. A sincere compliment will quietly encourage a senior to continue ‘dressing up’ for dinner. Asking a simple question will encourage an otherwise shy or reticent person to engage in much-needed conversation. Kind Dining® training continues to direct the food serving staff to expand their own intelligence, responsibility, and to improve the food serving protocols installed in your community. Remember to wear your name tags so people may speak to you personally. Smile and make eye contact so others may read the twinkle in your eyes the smile they can’t see under your mask that you are happy to be serving their meal.

The food serving team is the most valuable community asset it has. They set the dining ambiance for your resident whether it is the community dining room or their private room where they are now taking their meals. It still is the most significant time of the day for your residents. The brief social interaction received during the dining hour presently comes from the food serving team. Hospitality is always the key factor and just as essential as ever.

Our B Kind ® Tip: Practice your Kind Dining® skills every day until they come naturally!

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy Heilman MS, DTR: Cindy Heilman has over 25 years of experience in enhancing hospitality, and food service standards. She is the CEO of her own company, Higher Standards LLC, and creator of Kind Dining® Training. Her unique background in restaurant ownership, in hospitality and healthcare food service, in working as a Dietetic Technician Registered and Healthcare Specialist at SYSCO Foodservices, led her to the development of her exclusive program that improves relationships and lives of aging residents through the dining experience.

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